Springtime Cravings


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I know that I was talking a lot about salads in one of my recent posts and how I love them for the spring, but I still find that I need to dig into heartier (if not lighter) meals when the chill returns to the air.  Luckily, we are seeing fresher and more local vegetables returning to the produce aisles, and that always makes me want to cook with a with an eye toward verdancy.  Yesterday was a prime spring day:  walking in the sun, you felt hints of the sweet warmth of summer, but in the shade, our skins tensed with goosebumps.  That kind of weather makes me want something warming, but fresh tasting, so I might turn to a pasta primavera, a side of succotash next to a salmon filet, or a simple risotto studded with edamame, sweet peas, fava beans, and asparagus.    Knowing how to make a good risotto is clutch for many occasions.  Generally, it doesn’t take much forethought to make a good risotto, since a good base will be complimented by anything you might put into it, especially if your ingredients are fresh.  An additional perk is that, if you use vegetable stock, it is a good vegetarian meal, in case you need one on hand.  Basically, the rule is to always have arborio rice, stock, onion, garlic, and parmesan cheese on hand in your house, which I really don’t think is far from the reality of most kitchens.  What you add to the mix beyond that is really up to you.  For me, it often depends on what I have in the fridge or freezer, or what I just bought at the market.  Here is my Basic Risotto.

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